I met Christie K. Layman in June 1973 in Toppenish, WA. and we were married in Soda Springs, Idaho, Caribou County, on March 22nd, 1974. We had a double wedding with my brother Chuck and we ate to two of biggest prime rib steaks I’ve ever seen or eaten. It took us over two hours to eat them and I don’t remember how much we drank, but it was enough. He married a lady by the name of Faye and I don’t remember her last name, but she was Italian and a talker. That marriage didn’t last very long, plus they augured all the time.
I had just come from Kent, WA. to Toppenish to build a liquid sugar cane tank for some company in Toppenish WA. and on Friday after work I would take the crew to Houlihan’s and buy them beer and that’s where I met Chris.
I finished the job and was transferred to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which is about 90 miles from Toppenish, WA to build an Air Lock to bring train cars with fuel rods in and out of the FFTF Nuclear Containment Vessel, The containment vessel was finished including the concrete dome but the internals was under construction. The Airlock was in two parts the first part was to build the vessel and the second part to install the doors and internals.
In those days I was into motorcycles and had a Husqvarna 450 WR motorcycle and a 30 foot Airstream Excella 500 trailer and would spend my free time riding and having fun.
Chris decided to go with me and we were off to Las Vegas, NV. On December 17th 1973 and once in Las Vegas we went Christmas shopping and was standing in line waiting to check out and gave up. We went to an auto dealership and I bought her a brand new 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme for Christmas.
Following that assignment we went to Winchester, CA. In February of 1974 for another two part job then onto Conda, ID. to re-tube a heart exchanger for a couple of weeks and the process were married in Soda Springs, ID. On March 22nd 1974. Then back to Winchester to finish the water expansion tank for the city of Hemet ,CA. We went to several other jobs then back to the Hanford reservation to finish the Airlock on the FFTF project. I worked until 07/16/1975 with CB&I & then went to work for Bechtel from 08/16/1975 as an assistant superintendent through 12/30/1977. Then I went to work for J. A. Jones as an Area Superintendent from 01/01/1977 through 12/30/1978.
While working for Bechtel on the FFTF Nuclear Reactor at Hanford, Washington, we bought our first home in Kennewick, WA. We invited James & Terry to spend their school vacation with us. James would come, but Terry would not, so it became apparent that Terry was being influenced by his mother or had decided not to have much to do with his dad. He was Marlene's favorite, which was apparent from the beginning, but not something a mother should do with her children.
While living in Kennewick, and working for Bechtel, I got into Archery basically for hunting, but it quickly turned into target archery leading to various competitions and winning the State Archery competitions two years in a row. It was called the Six Gold Shoot, where different cities would hold competitions and turn in their scores and a QC guy named Jerry & I came out on top. During my practice sessions, Chris’s kids would make noise and tickle my ears with a feather to break my concentration on the target.
Andy was a full-blown teenager at this point and was a handful to manage. I think he was 13 or 14 years old and was constantly doing something he was told not to do most of the time. I didn't know it, but Marlene farmed Andy out to one of her friends for a year or two. She couldn't handle him and after I moved to Coarsegold, CA, I learned about this. Andy never told me.
I got into boating in Kennewick. I bought a 24-foot Tolley Craft cabin cruiser and then restored it, including rebuilding the motor. Once I finished it, I took it on a vacation to the straits of Juan de Fuca, around Anacortes, WA. and Vancouver, Canada. We did some fishing and visited (I think) the Victorian Rose Garden in Canada. After the vacation, we used the boat to go up the Snake River through two locks to get to the Little Goose campgrounds.
I left Bechtel and went to work for .J. A. Jones in January 01/01/1977 to stay in Kennewick, WA. where Chris and I could both see our kids, which lasted about a year. J. A. Jones people were very political and protective of their positions and jobs, and I didn't want to play their game.
I left J. A. Jones and went to work for Ebasco, on December 12/01/1978. Ebasco had been after me to go to Mexico and work on Laguna Verde Power Plant in Veracruz, Mexico. They were offering a 30% wage increase over what J. A. Jones was paying me, so I accepted their offer and Chris & I were off on a new adventure.
Once in Mexico, while living in the Veracruz Hotel, Chris and I would have Montezuma's revenge after dinner every night and have to rush back to the hotel room to relieve ourselves. Fortunately, we each had a toilet and didn't have to wait on each other. That was a blessing in disguise.
They hired me to manage the construction of the containment vessel, but their engineering group couldn't decide locally passing everything to New York Office for approval. The lead engineer was from India and had a reputation of passing every major decision to the New York office for their approval, which didn't sit too well with me because it was causing delays and would eventually affect my reputation which would not happen, after about seven months (07/10/1979) I moved on and went back to work for Bechtel International Inc on 08/20/1979 in Korea. While in Mexico, Chris ran into all kinds of problems. One time a guy walked up to her and grabbed her boob and another time a construction worker threw a brick at her so it was unsafe to be there so Back to Bechtel.
After getting to Korea 08/20/1979 and knowing I would be there for three years, I offered to have the boys come, but they refused and I didn't get to see them for three years. I left Korea on a business trip for Bechtel on 02/23/1980 and flew to LA, then onto the Norwalk, CA office and worked with engineering through 03/04/1980 to help the engineers solve a problem with the constructibility of the containment vessels. The Bechtel engineers were like the Ebasco engineers, but they listen to me and we got the construction problems solved.
Before flying back to Korea, I flew to Oklahoma City on 03/04/1980 to visit Mom in Mountain View Oklahoma and learned there wasn't anything I could do to help her with the cancer illness. I flew to Pasco, Washington, on 03/11/1980 bought a condominium. It was at 1715 & 1717 South Olson in Kennewick, WA. near a friend of ours. It appeared to be a good hedge or investment, but over time it appeared the investment idea was not a good one because the renters were causing costly repair problems every year. I finally got back to Pusan on 03/19/1980.
Chris was mad because I hadn't called her and let her know what I was doing, plus leaving her in a foreign country alone was scary for her. I was scrambling the entire time I was away from Korea solving problems and it took a while to convince Chris that I was sorry. After a while, she settled down, and I got busy with my job and introduce her around to the people and families I worked with, making everything all better. It wasn't long before she was off during the day shopping and learning her way around a foreign country. They gave us cars to drive when we needed to go shopping or to Chosun Beach or for a dinner out. Usually, it was bulgogi in a bulgogi house where you had to sit on the floor. Once in a while, we went to the Chosun Beach hotel for a real dining experience.
While in Korea I got into Stereo and bought a bunch of high-end audio equipment such as a Soundcraftsmen Amp and Preamp, JBL L300 speakers that were big but sounded great, plus a bunch of other equipment.
George Stump & I would make a martini, turn it up and listen to music until we got snockered. It was a fun thing to do when you're in a foreign country far away from home. Then there were parties you attended and, of course, when it was your turn to host, you got to show off your big stereo equipment.